How Exercise Can Be Used To Manage Stress

We live in a fast-paced world — and we’ve become accustomed to it — but that pace has slowed down due to coronavirus-related layoffs. Many of us are stuck at home, unemployed, living paycheck to paycheck, and wondering if we’ll be able to make ends meet. What does that mean for our overall health? Well, stress is through the roof. And that’s bad. 

According to T-P Law, maybe people are “running” away from bankruptcy in the months since coronavirus has spread around the world — literally. Even though many people have no money and must now rely on the government for help, they’re still doing their best to maintain good health for their families. Sometimes, it’s the least they can do.

That’s why exercise is so important, though. It helps relieve stress by increasing your “happy” hormones, which are called endorphins. These chemicals have been called the “runner’s high” and it’s one of the reasons some people actually become addicted to exercise.

Another reason that exercise relieves stress is by actually mirroring the effects. Believe it or not, when you exercise the fight or flight response can be triggered — especially when you’re actually running. Because your body is going through that response, the exercise is essentially helping you to train yourself to endure its effects. That can help you manage stress more effectively when the stressors themselves are real.

Running, swimming, and biking are all types of exercise that will increase overall endurance while improving muscular, cardiovascular, digestive, and immune health. When these benefits combine, you will feel healthier — and because you feel healthier your overall stress level will decline even further. 

Another way exercise helps relieve stress is because you tend to focus more on the movement of your body and less on whatever happened in the recent past. Running is like a temporary vacation from your problems even as they stack up behind you — and the best way to keep that vacation going is to never take time off from exercising. Keep it up every day! This can influence optimistic tendencies and help you remain calm.

Exercising every day will also boost your overall mood. In addition to the aforementioned effects, symptoms of depression should slowly start to decrease. Anxiety will decrease. You might also notice these effects amplified if you weren’t getting good sleep before you began to exercise regularly. Around 8 hours of sleep per night is the recommended amount for adults and can have a huge impact on overall health.

Having trouble falling asleep even after exercising that day? You might be spending too much time in front of a screen directly before bed, which can activate your brain and prevent it from shutting down when it’s supposed to. You can easily figure out if this is the reason by putting down the phone or tablet and turning off the TV or computer an hour before bed. Pick up a book or a newspaper instead. If you find yourself getting to sleep more easily, then it might be time to turn this into a permanent routine!